How to Fix a High Ping
By John Calhoun
Updated September 22, 2017
A high ping is the bane of every online gamers existence. A high ping indicates a longer lag time in communication between a player (client) and the game server (host). Smooth game play in any competitive online game, be it a first-person shooting game or a strategy game, requires a low ping. Fortunately there are several strategies that can be used to fix a high ping.
Upgrade your connection speed through your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Often ISP's will offer several different connection speeds for different prices. A higher connection speed will allow you to send and receive data faster and lower your ping. You can also switch to a different ISP that offers higher speeds.
Use a free online bandwidth testing tool such as BandwidthPlace to ensure you are receiving the speed promised by your ISP. If you are not receiving the advertised speed, let your ISP know and they will attempt to optimize your internet speed.
Use a wired internet connection instead of a wireless connection or router. A fixed line connection allows for a more stable flow of data and will lead to lower ping and smoother game play. Additionally, a wired connection avoids the possibility of other computers simultaneously using the internet and using up bandwidth.
Disable any firewalls, such as ZoneAlarm, Norton, and McAfee. Although this step may expose your computer to temporary risks, many firewalls substantially slow down internet connection speed. Disabling firewalls that directly monitor web traffic will lower your ping.
Exit any applications that may be using up bandwidth. Heavy bandwidth users include applications or browsers that are downloading music, video or other files. Light bandwidth users include chat programs, open browsers and any other application that uses the internet in any way.
Choose a server that is geographically close to you. Using servers that are geographically close to you to lowers your ping because the amount of time it takes for a data packet to travel between yourself and the server will be reduced. Use filter options to sort servers by region or look up the IP address to find out where it is hosted.
Adjust in-game settings to make sure that there is no default bandwidth cap. This depends on each individual game. The best strategy is to use Google to search for the name of the game you are playing together with the term "bandwidth cap" and browse the results.
Gaming forums are a great place to get more in-depth advice on how to adjust each individual game to optimize ping.
John Calhoun has been a freelance writer since 2007. He has written for ABC Investigative News, the Fulbright Foundation for Scholarly Exchange, "Richmond Times-Dispatch" and other publications. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Richmond and is completing two graduate degrees in public policy at the University of York and the University of Oxford as a U.S. Marshall Scholar.